Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Sustaining Comprehensive Teacher Development: An Examination of the Extent to Which Teachers Continue to Implement a Cognitive Strategies Approach to Literacy Instruction One Year After Completion of a Professional Development Program
by Miller, Gail Lynn, Ed.D., University of California, Irvine, 2011, 181; 3457240
Abstract (Summary)

This study was carried out the year following Accelerating Academic Literacy, a three-year strategies-based professional development program for secondary English/Language Arts teachers. The program was anchored in a cognitive strategies reading/writing intervention that was implemented by classroom teachers and designed strategically to enhance the higher-level academic literacy of secondary English Language Learners enrolled in two urban, high-poverty school districts.

The purpose of this investigation was to determine to what degree a small cohort of purposely-selected teachers -- six high-adopters/high-implementers and six low-adopters/low implementers -- sustained the instructional practices and utilized the materials provided during the trainings the year after the professional development and resources were withdrawn. Through teacher interviews, self-reported teacher questionnaires, classroom observation wrap-up sheets by expert Literacy Coaches, and the researcher‘s field notes, the findings suggest wide variation among the teachers‘ implementation practices. The four distinct types of teacher characteristics and implementation practices that emerged ranged from using the professional development as a launching pad for further curriculum development to continuing a very limited use of the strategies and resources from the professional development. However, despite the uneven implementation practices across the 12 teachers in the study, quantitative data analyzed by the program evaluator in a separate study continued to find that, as a whole, teachers who participated in the professional development continued to show higher levels of student improvement approaching significance at the end of Year 4.

Implications for the future design of long-term, high-quality professional development and for the challenges of involving administrative oversight and the gradual release of funding are discussed.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Collins, Penelope, Olson, Carol Booth
Commitee: Bailey, Alison
School: University of California, Irvine
Department: Educational Administration (UCI/UCLA Joint) - Ed.D.
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 72/08, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Language arts, School administration, Teacher education
Keywords: Adolescent literacy, Cognitive strategies, Professional development, Teaching strategies
Publication Number: 3457240
ISBN: 978-1-124-67485-8
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